Chapter 184 Shoes?
The bell rung as they entered the room, early sunlight illuminating parts of the store. “I’ll be right there!” a young female voice resounded from somewhere in the back. Ilea saw the woman through her sphere, identifying her as soon as she came out to the front.
[Shoemaker – lvl 59]
“Welcome to Laria’s Shoepalace. What are you looking for?” she smiled at them and waited. A refreshing reaction to Ilea who was getting used to the respect and fear people who knew about her level or membership with the Hand usually portrayed.
“I’m looking to replace these.” Ilea said, stepping to the left of the counter and pointing to her boots.
“Oh my, that doesn’t fit with your clothes at all darling. Of course, come let me see if we can find something that works with the red dress.” the woman said, acting as if what she saw was a crime.
“Do your companions need something as well?” the woman asked, her eyes lingering on Kyrian a little longer.
“We’re just looking.” Trian said. “And accompanying the lady.” he added.
“I’m no lady.” Ilea said as she looked through the shelves of shoes, finding some simple ones that she liked. The quality seemed incredible compared to what she was used to from earth. Leather boots, she kind of expected to be high quality but casual wear like this? Then again everything was handmade by a trained craftsman or in this case woman.
“I’ll have these and these.” Ilea said after just four minutes, trying on the first pair immediately.
“They fit much better.” the woman said and smiled.
“How much are they both?” Ilea asked after having tried both of them on. They were a well enough fit.
“Fifteen silver together.” the woman said and Ilea moved her hands behind her back, summoning the silver before she put it on the counter.
“Come back if you need anything else. I’m willing to repair them for free in the first month!” the woman said but the way she looked at Kyrian, Ilea assumed that offer wasn’t just for her.
The shoes were still rather high but Ilea liked something a little more substantial anyway. Plus she felt confident to fight like this. They wouldn’t fly off immediately.
“Know any good restaurants Trian?” Ilea asked as they stepped into the street, the early people already going about their business.
“I do but I’d rather not visit them right now.” he said, Ilea nodding in response. She felt a little weird walking around with her dress ending right above her knees while some of the people around them wore warm jackets. She did get some stares but couldn’t tell if they were out of interest or because they were weirded out.
“We’ll find something.” Ilea said and started walking in a random direction. For the first time in Virilya, she had some time to actually look at the city. Using all her skills, she took everything in, specifically focusing on anything that would lead her to another one of Eve’s hideouts. She was sure there were more in a city as big as this one.
Would her illusions still be in place? Many hidden places would likely be from other people or organizations as well. Her hopes of finding something weren’t high but it felt good to at least look around. She’d take her time finding out more about her, what she did and who had killed her. Then she would face that person, regardless of anything else. She’d ask them why and perhaps she would try and kill them.
Right now though, the goal was to find a restaurant and Ilea made herself focus on that task to not lose herself on the way. One step after another, she told herself and after walking for ten minutes, they came upon an open square with some inns and restaurants, some even serving food already.
They sat down at one of them that seemed nice and had a nice scent coming from inside. “Don’t people know how you look?” Ilea asked Trian who sat opposite her.
“The chance is rather slim. Even so, how would anybody connect the dots. I don’t think anybody who saw us is walking around here.” he said, the last part in a whisper.
Ilea nodded and leaned back on the bench, realizing that her armor was much more comfortable to sit with than a dress. Still, the fresh air was a welcome change.
“Hello, what can I bring you?” a waitress came and asked.
“Got any warm food?” Ilea asked and the waitress nodded.
“Yea, stew from yesterday or bacon and egg for breakfast. You’re so early the bread is still warm.” she said and smiled.
“Bring both then.” Ilea said.
“Enough for six people.” Kyrian said and the waitress just nodded again. Perhaps regularly having adventurers around made a request like that more acceptable.
The group ate, mostly in silence but the food helped change their moods somewhat. Having a full belly helped, even if it wasn’t needed as much anymore. The restaurant had rooms to rent in the house and the group moved inside after their brunch.
“Alright, let’s see what we got.” Ilea said as she sat on the bed, Kyrian lying next to her while Trian stood before the bed. The first thing she summoned was a sword. Ilea could’ve checked out all the items in her necklace but decided after their operation that she’d look through them with her group instead. They would meet Edwin and Maria again in six days, as the two had said they’d return to the hideout after the initial attacks on the first three days.
[Sword of the Morning – High Quality]
“Think we should sell this.” Ilea said and Kyrian nodded. She continued with weapons, going through eight more swords of similar quality, three axes, two bows and two whole sets of armor. Nothing was higher than high quality, except for a single two handed ax.
[Ax of Carnage – Rare Quality]
“What do you want to do with all this?” Ilea said, handing the ax to Trian who just shrugged.
“More gold would be fine but take whatever you want.” he said, handing the ax back.
“You want it?” Ilea asked Kyrian who shook his head.
“Take it, maybe you’ll find some use for it someday.” he said and Ilea stored the ax again.
The next thing were several smaller chests. Opening the first one, there was gold inside. An assortment of coins. Putting it back into her necklace, she knew it to be two hundred gold coins. One more chest had the same amount in it and the others were filled with metals, jewelery and perfume.
“Four hundred gold.” she said, placing everything back.
“How much can I have?” Trian asked and Ilea just shrugged.
“I have enough gold for now, take it, maybe it will help you right some wrongs.” she said and looked at Kyrian.
“I’ll take a hundred to pay off the Hand if that’s possible.” he said and Trian nodded.
“Of course. Ilea are you sure? You two are the ones who found and got this stuff after all.” Trian said but she shook her head.
“It’s alright, leave it.” she said. “I think Kyrian should take the metals, maybe you can find out something about them. Go visit Balduur as well and let him know I was involved as well.” Ilea said, handing the thing to Kyrian.
“I won’t carry this around with me, you take it for now.” he said, handing the chest back but Ilea shook her head with a smile.
“Not so fast. There were a bunch of rings as well. Maybe…,” she said and summoned the seven rings that had been lying in the treasury.
[Ring of Illusions – Rare Quality]
[Well of Winter – Rare Quality] – Would you like to claim the Well of Winter?
‘No.’ Ilea thought and handed the ring to Kyrian. “Take it, and let me know what it is.”
“Oh I claimed it.” Kyrian said, looking at the two of them nervously. “It says, storage capacity at 0/30” he said and took the chest with the metal, before it suddenly vanished. “Oh wow… now it’s at 1/30. That means I can put a looot of stuff in here.” he said, curious about the newfound toy.
“Take it out again…,” Ilea said, having a hunch. The chest appeared and she touched it. “As I thought.” she said to a confused Kyrian. He touched it as well and nodded.
“Well of Winter indeed. It’s cold. Well I hope it doesn’t freeze everything completely.” he said, a little worry in his voice.
“I doubt that. I heard of similar enchantments before. It’s intentional.” Trian said. “What about the other rings?” he asked.
“No more storage ones I don’t think. At least none of them ask me to claim them. Some have enchantments though but nothing extraordinary. At least I think so.” Ilea said, handing the rings to Trian.
“The crest on this one…,” Trian said, holding up one of the rings. “That’s another noble family who had significant losses half a year ago. We might’ve not been the only ones targeted.” he said.
“Knowing you, this one might be beneficial to you.” he said and handed one of the rings to Ilea. “Kyrian, this one for you it says it lessens wind resistance a little when flying.”
[Drowning Bear Ring] – [You drown but less quickly]
“What the hell does that mean?” Ilea asked but shrugged and stored the ring. Remembering her lookout on water, she decided to visit an underwater fighting class in Ravenhall if that was still possible.
“Sell the rest, they’re useless to us.” Ilea said and Kyrian gave his ok after looking through them.
“The paintings and documents we’ve looked through already. Leaves only these books.” Ilea said and summoned the last pieces looted from the Birmingale treasury.
“They’re class books. Anything that interests you two?” Trian asked.
[Introductions on Wood Magic]
[The dominance of Fire]
[Blood Rituals Volume VII]
[Blood Rituals Volume VIII]
[Alchemy for the uninspired]
“Not really.” Ilea said and Kyrian put them back as well.
“I’ll read the Blood magic ones. Selling the rest.” Trian said and made everything vanish.
“What the… I’ll be right back.” Ilea said and blinked downstairs, appearing in the middle of the common room in her dress. A man was crouched close to the door, clutching his stomach as blood flowed onto the ground. The waitress from before was rushing back towards the kitchen, shouting for help.
Ilea walked to the man who seemed to be dying and touched him, her healing magic flowing into him as she focused her spell on the stab wound on his stomach. He was poisoned as well, the effect nearly canceling out her healing. Stronger than most poisons she had come into contact with.
The waitress and two more people rushed out from the kitchen with towels, hot water and bandages but stopped as they watched Ilea sit the man down next to the door, touching his brow with one hand as he confusedly touched his stomach. The wound slowly closed as the poison’s effect lessened with time.
‘Very recent…,’ she thought, as the man would’ve died a minute or two later with the poison’s destructive influence. Checking through her sphere, Ilea recognized a weird spot on top of the opposite building’s roof. There was nothing there. Nothing at all. A mistake that Eve had made early on in their training.
“Any reason someone would want to kill you?” Ilea asked the man sitting before her, the confusion in his look apparent.
“No lady, I dunno wha happend… nobody there who would go as far as killin ol Jonas.” he said as the waitress got closer to Ilea.
“What happened to him?” the woman asked as she held a wet towel to his brow.
“Poison and a stab wound. You know him?” Ilea asked and the woman grunted.
“Yea, he’s a regular. Not sure why anybody would do something like that to him. Perhaps a demon possessed somebody. Damn scum of that Shadow’s Hand.” she said, the last part more to herself but Ilea saw the man behind her nodding.
She wasn’t sure if demons could actually possess anybody. They seemed more bent on eating people than using their bodies. Looking at the man and his impressive level twenty three, she was somewhat sure he wasn’t a prime target for anybody. Ilea nodded and disappeared, appearing again a couple meters behind the blank spot in her Sphere on the opposite building’s roof.
“Hey there.” she said. She could see a haze before her, barely visible but combined with her Sphere she was sure there was someone standing right there. No reaction came back.
“Trying out new poisons I suppose?” Ilea added and still didn’t get a reaction. She had difficulties identifying the thing before her but her instincts weren’t going haywire and Ilea had learned to trust them somewhat. In fact she knew she should trust them more but her life on earth had trained her otherwise.
“If you don’t start talking now I’ll try some skills on you as well and you don’t seem like you specialize in defense.” Ilea said, starting to walk towards the haze a moment later.
“Stop please.” a voice spoke, a young man it seemed. The haze lessened a little and she could see a figure standing on the roof now.
“I’ll have you warned. If you interfere with my operation you’ll have to answer the imperial jury.” the man spoke and Ilea chuckled in response.
“I doubt they’ll connect your deformed corpse with this cute young lady.” she said, smiling with her mouth only. “You’re imperial then? So why not tell me why ol Jonas deserved to die of poisoning?” she asked.
The man seemed unsure, the haze flickering a little before it vanished completely, a man in white robes appearing, red and black weaved into the cloth, some kind of armor showing below. A hood covered most of his facial features. He was holding up his hands in a placatory gesture.
[Rogue – lvl 171]
“You don’t care about the empire. Why then care about that man?” he asked, seeming genuinely interested.
Ilea shrugged. “I don’t want to see death today I think. Call it a mood.” she said.
The man scratched his head and nodded. “I don’t understand. Have it your way then. I’ll find a different target further away. Is that acceptable for you?” he asked respectfully.
“Target for what?” Ilea asked, having a good guess at the answer.
“Some new poisons I developed.” the man said, showing her some vials that appeared in his hands.
“How would you test them on random people. You don’t know how high their resistance is and how much health they have and lose.” Ilea said, walking past him and sitting down on the edge of the roof.
“I take an educated guess. Time until death combined with the damage of the stab wound.” the man answered.
“That’s terribly inefficient. Want to test them on me and you’ll owe me a couple favors in return?” Ilea asked. An imperial rogue would likely open a lot of doors, literally and figuratively.
The man thought about it for a moment. “I don’t think killing random citizens is exactly allowed either.” Ilea added.
“You are right. I can blame Baralia or the Shadow’s Hand at the moment.” he said nonchalantly.
“Your offer seems generous, why would you trust me?” the man asked.
“Oh I don’t trust you. I just doubt you have something that could kill me.” Ilea answered with a smile. “And I want some variety today. Some more Poison Resistance and talking to an imperial seems to fulfill exactly that need.” she said. “Plus I will only allow it if my friends are close by.” she added.
“A challenge then? I accept. Are you staying in that establishment?” the man asked and Ilea answered by blinking onto the street, some nearby people veering out of the way. The man followed, shrouded again in a barely visible mist.
“You’re back. And you brought someone?” Kyrian asked as she entered the room. Trian was reading the first of his blood magic volumes, a welcome distraction it seemed.
“Yea, he’s an imperial rogue… kind of a contradiction isn’t it?” Ilea said as she sat down on the bed. “He wants to test some poisons and we get favors or information in return. Could you keep an eye on me and murder him if I die or he tries anything stupid.” she asked, leaning on the wall behind her.
Kyrian shrugged. “Sure.” he said, sitting down next to her as his metal started floating around, flowing from one shape to another. The rogue became visible again and looked around the room.
“Are you mercenaries? Or spies sent from another land?” he asked, staring at the book Trian was reading.
“Does it matter to you?” Ilea asked. The man answered by handing her a vial filled with a clear liquid. Ilea chugged it immediately.
“It’s too bitter. I would add some sugar and maybe a bit of lime.” she said dryly.
‘ding’ ‘You have been poisoned by Tincture of Seething Flame -50 HP/s for one minute. Disturbed Vision for twenty minutes.’
Ilea’s healing magic kicked in and counteracted the poison, negating the health drain completely. She hadn’t tested her Hunter Recovery like this but now she knew that it was at least fifty health per second. Kind of ridiculous really, seeing how her health was at six thousand. She could go from zero to full health in just two minutes or even less. Then again she knew that certain problems like a missing arm would take quite a bit longer to heal, depending on her expertise on the specific injury.